Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seattle and Vancouver

I didn't know how much I'd enjoy Seattle and Vancouver. To be honest, this was kind of a random trip - a trip inspired from a friend whilst sitting on a bench one evening in Brooklyn. He told me stories of his year and somewhere in that story he mentioned Seattle.

Hmmm, Seattle huh? Maybe I'll go there. And then I realized how CLOSE Seattle is to Vancouver and then before I knew it I had a ticket in hand and a car reserved. BUT I wasn't at all sure what to expect. I knew I'd see good people - people I love - but didn't know how much I would actually enjoy the places.

It also helps tremendously that all the people that live in these places are excited by and love where they live. Everyone I met and talked to in both locations spoke about their city in the same way I speak of Brooklyn. It made it more attractive. People are happy living here. The mountains, the air, the trees, the bridges, the has the best of all worlds.

I became a fan of Seattle and Vancouver on this trip. And, never thought I'd say this, but can actually imagine living in this area. Don't know when and don't know IF, but it's been the one place so far, that I can actually imagine myself in. Somewhere down the line. Sometime when Brooklyn is done with me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

new things.

sometimes it is the most unexpected things that fill you with joy and allow you to experience things you didn't think you wanted to or needed to experience. a new place, new people, new surroundings. you don't realize how bogged down you can get with the mundane-ness (if that's even a word) of your every day. and suddenly a small little something, a tiny little moment can become all you ever needed.
getting out of your norm allows you a perspective that you otherwise may not feel, see, or understand. it allows you to appreciate other parts of yourself that you yourself may be taking for granted and it lets you hear and see things that you don't normally hear and see.
it's good. it opens you up.
it's that opening up that allows us to stay young and to remain curious. always wanting to know more. to do more. to grow.

Monday, December 19, 2011

its been a year.

Last year at this time, my grandmother passed away. This year, my mind keeps flashing back to moments that occurred last year, as if trying to recreate the memories and make them fresh for me.
The moment the call came, my sisters broken voice on the other end of the phone.
Scrambling around my apartment, not certain what to do first. Airline, suitcase, work emails, work calls, rental car, ride to the airport, packing, crying, packing, crying.
The plane ride home. Long.
Touched ground in Tucson and so many voicemails sending their condolences. Drive home.
Silence. Hugged my sister, cried. Empty in the house. Empty in the room where she was.
And then the whirlwind of planning. Meeting with the funeral home, visiting the cemetery grounds, family calling, family emails, planning the program. Everyone arriving. The house full full full of people. Running errands, making sure we have everything. No time to process.
The night before we went to the funeral home for the wrapping of the body, I laid down on the couch to sleep. Every room in the house was filled with people. I was out in the living room. I closed my eyes and then saw her, the image of her, so clear in my mind. Lying on her bed, holding my hand, giving me advice. And that moment I lost it. It was the first time I had truly cried in mourning.
The days that followed were filled with visits and eating and organizing and lots of stories and lots of prayers. We prayed together - chanted in Persian and in English. We watched so many videos of her and laughed together and cried together.
All those memories just fill my head now. It's been a year her soul took flight. It's been a year I haven't held her soft wrinkled hands and told her I loved her. It's been a year she has been gone.
And today I miss her so much. My heart aches.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

oh for the love of Amtrak.

today i was to travel from DC to NYC. an easy trip. i sometimes drive, and a lot of times i take the bus. the first time i ever made a trip to DC i took the china town bus. it was 7 years ago and i had just moved to the City and ever so desperately wanted to travel down to DC for the weekend to visit my family.
i got to 88 broadway, where the bus was supposed to load, and it felt literally as if i had walked into china and was about to travel by bus in a foreign country. i remember to this day being squished between the loads of passengers packed onto the bus and being thrilled that this entire trip cost me nothing more than $18.

since then, other buses making that route have begun to take over and so bolt bus, equipped with wifi and outlets has made its way to being my mode of transportation. it's a fine ride. does the trick. but. for some reason, today, when i got to union station to try and catch the 5pm bus to NYC (which, incidentally would not have gotten me into the city before 9:45pm, i SOMEHOW ended up at the amtrak counter asking about trains.

"there is a 4:20 leaving straight to NYC." (i looked down at my phone. 4:16.)
"and, how long does it take?"
"you'll be in NYC by 7:30." (dream come true)
my heart started to race.
"is there wifi?"
"yes ma'am."
"uh huh." getting clearly annoyed.
"is there a bathroom?" she looks straight up at me and laughs.
"ma'am, what do you think this is? of course there is a bathroom!"
not effected in the slightest by her mockery.
"you don't have like a discount or anything? like. you know, i'm a teacher. no?"
i knew the answer before she even looked up at me from behind her glasses.
"will i even make the 4:20?"
"you will if you stop asking me questions."
NOT even stopping to THINK about this (expensive) decision.
"OK! let's do it!"

4 minutes later i'm in a very fancy and very comfortable train. making my way to the City. 2 hours earlier than expected.

Friday, December 16, 2011

good ol Whitney.

You know how smells can you remind you of a place or a time? Like for me Herbal Essences shampoo will always remind me of the year I lived in a trailer in South Carolina. When I smell that I am 18 again and the rural South is my home. I remember everything from that time when Herbal Essences hits the nostrils.

Songs will often have the same impact. I was lying in bed last night and the music from the street was particularly loud. It's usually pretty bad, but tonight it was as if someone had turned the radio on right in my room. I was ABOUT to get annoyed until I head the song. I Will Always Love You - by Whitney Houston. And I was immediately transported to 19. Just dropped my boyfriend at the time off at the airport. I had woken up at 4am to drive him. He had come to visit me for a week and we argued and laughed and cried, and then argued some more, the whole time, as was indicative of our relationship. And we were pretty quiet the whole way to the airport. I parked the car and walked him to his gate - you could do that then. We hugged. And when we did, we both knew this would not last and not go anywhere.
I got back in the car, heaving crying, and played Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, for the whole hour ride home. Each time it played, I sang louder and cried harder. Each time the dramatic pause arrived and then she HIT that note, I swear my voice started sounding more like hers.

Last night that song reminded me of everything I loved about him and all the reasons I'm thankful we said goodbye.

smoke in the living room.

I'm writing this here because, quite frankly, I have no where else to write it. My house reeks of smoke. Cigarette smoke that is, and there is nothing I can do about it, or so it seems. My roommate and I do not smoke, but someone, somewhere, in the building, does. We have no idea where it is coming from, but have deciphered that it is making its way through our vents.
Management has been contacted more than once. No answers have been given. Actually, no reply indicating that it is even being worked on, has been given.
I'd like to think that I am a relatively patient person, but on this issue, my patience is running low low low. I am not sure what the solution really is, but it just seems SO unfair to begin coughing in your own home and having your clothes smell like cigarettes, when you are not the one smoking. It seems that headaches that come from the smell of smoke and not being able to invite friends over who are allergic to smoke, is not really fair if you are paying rent for a place?
Maybe not. Maybe I'm being too picky about all this.
Literally had no where else to vent.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


i have this other blog that i started that is called: iPhotographer. it's a blog that contains ONLY photos that i take with my iPhone. i found myself talking loads of photos with my iPhone and having no place to "dump" them. facebook didn't feel like the right venue so seemed to fit the bill.

i've always had a love for photography. it's always been something i enjoy. but i have never had a real camera. well, that's not true. i once bought one from a stoop sale in Brooklyn for $90 but it wasn't digital. which had its charm but since it took so long to see the prints, it just lost it's luster.

so today. today in the mail, i got a real camera. it was a birthday gift from my family. and i am so super excited to actually try it out. the battery is charging as we speak. and i can't wait for it to finish so i can begin playing. here is to giving time to small pleasures.

feeling kinda off.

i like to think of myself as a glass half full kind of person. i look at a situation and MOST of the time, i can see the good in it or try and see it from a different perspective. most of the time, things don't feel like a big deal - they are what they are and i handle them.

and then. and THEN there are those days where everything just kinda feels off. you look at things and don't see the good side to it. you feel just exhausted and burnt and kinda all alone. you spiral into "deep" thinking that might not even be all that good for you. and probably isn't really deep thinking anyway. a total funk.
hate feeling like that.

it comes in small spurts. but when it comes, it just exhausts me.